Title: The Wait
Fandom: Avatar: The Last Airbender
Characters/Pairings: Katara+Zuko, Katara/Aang, Aang+Zuko
Notes: Takes place during the finale, so spoilers! Also, this is the longest fic I've ever written. Go me! (It's still really short. XD)
It vaguely occurs to him that he is now going to have two scars, both courtesy of family members. Zuko shoves the thought into the back of his mind and tries to concentrate on Katara, who is climbing down from Appa's saddle with bandages.
As she leans over him once more to wrap the bandages around his chest, Zuko notices she looks completely exhausted. Her hair is singed, and there are dark circles lining her eyes.
Zuko tries not to wince as the bandages scrape against his wound. He's been through worse. Though, he realizes, this is probably only because Katara was able to heal him quickly.
"Thanks for doing this, Katara. I don't deserve it."
"Oh, shut up. Yes you do." She sighs deeply. "I guess it's a good thing I've had a lot of experience healing this type of wound before."
Katara turns her gaze skyward, and Zuko is all too aware of the implications.
She nods, but doesn't respond.
"I just hope Aang is okay."
Her face is lined with worry as she looks once more to the blood red sky. Katara imagines thunder echoing in the distance.
The two of them lean against Appa for at least an hour, listening to Azula's wails as they slowly quieted.
Zuko drifts in and out of consciousness, the adrenalin of the Angi Kai finally worn off. Katara forces herself to stay awake. Her eyes stay fixed on the jagged horizon of the crater rim that encircles the city.
Suddenly, a light.
She nudges Zuko, a little too hard.
She points skyward. They watch the brilliant blue slowly fade.
"That's exactly like the light I saw in the South Pole..." The day feels centuries away to Zuko now.
They know it is Aang.
"What do you think it means this time?"
Neither of them dare to vocalize what it could mean. Aang could be dead.
"I'm sure he's okay."
The knot in Katara's stomach tightens.
Katara does not realize that she had fallen asleep until she is awoken by the roar of a zeppelin engine.
Zuko is already standing, clutching his chest. She rushes to her feet to support him.
"I'm fine, Katara."
They watch as the zeppelin slowly lands in a nearby courtyard. They rush (as fast as Zuko is capable of walking) over to meet it, though they both fear the cargo that it could possibly be caring. Appa roars behind them.
"That better be Sokka, Toph, and Suki." Zuko says, leaving Aang's name unspoken.
After a few tense moments, the ramp at the belly of the zeppelin finally lowers.
At the sound of his voice, she forgets about her exhaustion. She forgets about Zuko's injury. She runs as fast as she can towards the boy on the ramp, tears streaming down her face.
She collapses into his arms.
Aang examines Zuko's wound carefully.
It is a massive understatement.
"Katara told me what you did. Thank you so, so much for saving her, Zuko."
Aang would give him a huge hug, but he decides that it is rather unwise to hug someone with an open wound on his chest.
"I'm sure any of us would've done the same thing."
"Well, now we have matching scars!" He twists around to show Zuko the mark on his back.
"Oh great. We're scar buddies."